Marriage and Relationship Breakdown can be one of the most difficult and stressful periods of yours and your children’s lives, so if you are either thinking about separating from your partner or have no choice but to proceed, it is essential that you seek advice about the options that are available to you from a pragmatic and experienced Family Law Specialist.  That advice should concentrate on the mechanics of divorce/separation, your children and finances.

Cost Effective

Most other senior family law solicitors at the Partnership level of experience in Devon, Somerset and Dorset charge anywhere between £190 and £250 per hour plus VAT. They also reserve the right to increase this rate throughout the conduct of your case and some will charge an additional fee if the case should become ‘complicated.’  You are  paying not only for the service that you receive but for their business premises, their marketing and advertising budget for their large myriad of staff.

At Blackdown Family Law Solicitors we do not want you to pay extra for things which do not directly benefit your case.  We pass on to you all of the savings that we have made in the way that we have chosen to operate our business. There will not be any increase in our hourly rate or any extra charges due to alleged complexities.  We realise that large and costly offices together with unnecessary employees will not result in a better outcome for your case.  What matters is the service that you receive and at Blackdown Family Law Solicitors we are only interested in providing you with the best service at a cost effective price.

We do not have large cost targets which are inevitably passed on to clients.  All of the work on your case is undertaken by John Turner, who is a highly experienced Family Law Solicitor, at a rate of £140 per hour plus VAT.  This is much less than most firms will charge you for the services of an unqualified legal clerk, a legal executive for a trainee solicitor. On divorce, it is the arrangements for your children and your future financial circumstances that are at issue - do you wish to trust these to someone without the necessary qualifications or the required experience?

Free Advice

We are pleased to offer all of our clients a free initial consultation of up to one hour.  This will cover the options available to you in terms of separation and divorce and the various processes by which your case can be resolved.  It will also include general advice about the different types of claims that can be made and hence the settlements which are available.  We will ascertain your objectives, prioritise the issues and formulate a plan of action for the further progress of your case.

Unlike many other firms of solicitors, we do not restrict our initial consultation to 30 minutes.  This is because we appreciate that half an hour or even an hour is a wholly inadequate period of time for you to obtain the information that you need to determine whether to proceed with what is a life changing decision.  It is also important that you have sufficient opportunity to establish a rapport with your Solicitor,  as choosing the right person to represent you is crucial.

There is absolutely no obligation to proceed at the end of the initial appointment as we appreciate that you may want time to think before continuing.

We are happy for our free initial consultation to be either in person or to be conducted over the telephone, whichever is more convenient for you. However, a meeting is invariably the best option for us both and you will find us very flexible over the time that we can meet with you, namely, in the evenings if required and seven days a week.


At Blackdown Family Law Solicitors we appreciate that it may not always be convenient for you to fit your dealings with us into normal working hours.  Most solicitors are only open between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. (some even close for lunch) and this means that you are severely restricted in your communications with them.  We want to make life easier for you at what is a difficult time and this is why we operate flexible working hours.  We are available for telephone calls and to meet with you outside normal office hours.  In this way, we are always accessible at the times when you need us and which are better for you.


An all too common criticism of solicitors is that they fail to inform their clients in a timely fashion about developments and that they fail to return calls or are generally unavailable to discuss matters.  At Blackdown Family Law Solicitors, we avoid this as it is counterproductive for you and the progress of your case.  We take the view that it is extremely important that we are here to listen and to advise you when we are needed and when this is convenient for you.

We make full use of the latest technology to communicate with you.  Letters are sent to you and other solicitors by email as well as by post, so as to avoid delay.  If we are away from our office, both telephone calls and emails are redirected so, if possible, they can be answered immediately.  We will always return all calls and respond to emails promptly.

We will be honest with you and provide you with realistic time scales and cost information from the outset.  We adopt a firm but fair approach and will be robust with all of our dealings on your behalf.


John has amassed a full reference library over the last 22 years which is well read, current and far more extensive than most High Street or business park firms.  He attends continuing professional education courses, case law updates, Family Law conferences, Collaborative Law and Resolution (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association) meetings and fully reads two monthly family law publications. John is consequently able to monitor all of the latest legal developments and apply them to your case.

Whilst never yet having been required, Professional Indemnity Insurance of up to £2 million per claim is in place. In fact, unlike most other firms, his annual premium actually reduced this year.

Areas of Family Law Work
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